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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm still pretty new to the site and to owning my Chihuahua Thor.

I have had Thor for about 2 months and he is a 10 month old tan deer head.

He has been happy as per usual but this week I noticed on all four of his limbs and a bit on his head the skin is getting dark. Initially I thought it was dirt since we have been playing outside a lot this spring but I went to give him a bath and it didn't go away. He has also been nibbling and licking himself a lot. He does not have fleas as he is on treatment and I can not find any or flea dirt.

He is still young enough and doesn't seem to be in much discomfort - was just wondering if anyone knew what this was or if I should bring him to the vet.

On a side note he also sheds a lot - not sure if that is related or just a chihuahua thing.

Any info would be helpful! Thank you!
 

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I find that the light haired dog's skin does turn darker in the summer. I think it's pretty normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its mostly in sun exposed areas I suppose, it just makes his legs look dirty and I didn't think that his skin would "tan" from the light tan colour he is to black so quickly
 

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It's normal. People's skin do the same thing, maybe not as dark. As for shedding, it's summer, so it's to be expected. If he's shedding more than normal, could be the food. What are you feeding?
 

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This happened too when Luxie lost her puppy coat. The skin on her belly turned dark, it's normal i think because more people on this forum have said the same :)
 

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Does their hair "tan" in the sun too? Paco's hair is getting darker on his back but under his harness it is still light. Is that normal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thor has perhaps gotten a little darker, but not by a lot. Thank you all for the reassurance, I was so worried he was sick, his skin just changed colours so quickly.

Thor has been on Innova for the past couple months and I noticed it made his coat really soft. I am in the process of transitioning him to Fromm (chicken and Veg) and he has been tolerating it well the past 2 days. I think they are both decent foods.
 

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Lulu used to shed a lot and I just thought it was the breed until I changed her to the food she is on now and her shedding stopped. I have noticed a little bit of shedding in the last couple of days, but I think she's losing her winter coat. Otherwise, I think food definitely helps with shedding.
 

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Could you maybe take some pictures of the affected areas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: So the skin changing colour may be a getting older puppy to dog thing, and the shedding and what not may be spring but now I'm noticing that Thor has within a day scratched a portion of his neck raw!! :( an area about the size of a quarter on one side of his neck is now hair free and red from him scratching it. He has no fleas and nothing seems to be on himl...I don't know what to do. I'm sure I'm over reacting and everything will heal on its own but is there anything I can do in the mean time? I keep a VERY clean home and try to keep anything 'bad' out of his reach but I'm so worried that there is something I am totally missing...

Thanks for all your help so far.
 

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If he is THAT itchy and losing THAT much hair, my first instinct would be that he has an allergy... Is he on a grain free food? Maybe something environmental... Otherwise, I don't really know. I hope someone can help more than me...

Good luck and I hope Thor feels better soon.
 

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I agree with pupluv. Leah's brother had hair and skin issues when he was a puppy. After vet visits to different vets my cousin has finally found the cause. The vet says he is allergic to something in certain foods and has advised absolutely no table scraps and a better dog food that is grain free.
 

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You can give Benedryl. The dosage is 1 mg per pound every 12 hours. My chi is allergic to fleas. ONe small tiny little flea can cause this dog to itch herself to death.
 

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Zari has red/brown fur..the exposed skin under her legs and on her belly is a blue/purple color...it started out pink and turned as she aged...thinking she may be having an oxygen problem I took her into the DVM for assessment....nothing wrong....
as for the fur loss and itchiness, that is something that needs investigating...trying a grain free food may be the first step....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So it seems many people think it may be an allergy. I am in the process of transitioning his food from Innova to Fromm. Is there a food that you feel is relatively "safe" when it comes to allergies? Also I believe that the Fromm (chicken and veg) is wheat free.
 

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So it seems many people think it may be an allergy. I am in the process of transitioning his food from Innova to Fromm. Is there a food that you feel is relatively "safe" when it comes to allergies? Also I believe that the Fromm (chicken and veg) is wheat free.

Acana Pacifica is what I use on all of our rescues. It is a high quality, grain free
food. Fish allergies are rare compared to other common ones which is why I
choose this food, especially for the sensitive dogs or ones with allergies. On it
I see improvements in the coat within a couple of weeks, it becomes thicker,
softer, shinier, skin becomes more supple, it's a great food for the dog's
health inside out. It is by far one of maybe maximum 3 kibbles that I trust.
I've seen the results with my own eyes, over and over. If you choose to feed
it, feed a bit less than the recommended amount on the bag, it is high in
protein(which is a good thing) and therefore dogs can put on weight easily if
fed too much. Make the transition slowly, over a week. If you see diarrhea
then you either switched too fast or you are feeding too much. Stools on this
food should be tiny and firm.
 

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Also wanted to add, that if you are concerned it may be allergies, I would
eliminate all of human food and treats(if you feed any), it is not necessary.
Two meals per day of Acana Pacifica and that's it. Sometimes on a new food
it takes up to 6 weeks to see significant improvement, so stick to it. Not to
mention by eliminating all of the "extras" you will be able to better tell what
your pup is potentially allergic to. And even if allergies to food are not present
it doesn't hurt to eat healthy, and without treats.
 

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ps: I usually stay away from kibbles with chicken in them, because so many
dogs are allergic to the processed chicken used in dog food. I believe chicken
and grain allergies are most common.
 

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I've heard the Acana grain free formulas are great. There are a few recipes- Pacifica, wild prairie, ranchlands, and I think one or two more. They're pretty affordable. I've heard nothing but positive results from those with dogs that have allergies.
 
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